Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Field Trip: My Cave



The oldest known cave art can be found in the Chauvet cave in France. The most common cave paintings are of large wild animals. One theory behind this theme is that it was meant to magically help increase the number of animals the cavemen hunted. Hmm…now if I could only figure out how I could make that work in writing caves.

I’d probably doodle something like this:


(I have to say that this second novel is an entirely different beast from my first one. For starters, it has bigger horns – and it knows how to use them. I am presently firmly skewered onto one of them and am unable to budge from chapter thirteen. But enough about the-novel-that-is-slurping-my-brain-out-with-a-straw. This post is about caves. And magic.)

The cavemen were on to something when they lived in caves. Caves sheltered them from the elements and made them feel safe. Inside them, they didn’t have to worry about being eaten alive or drowning in tar pits.

There are arguably less life-threatening dangers surrounding us today, but one doesn’t need the threat of a horrible death to need sanctuary. Whether it’s a quiet place to put our feet up and inhale cupcakes or a spot to hunker down with the iPad and break our Angry Birds record, we need to stake out a little corner of the Earth for ourselves, even for just a little while. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It simply has to be large enough to stretch our legs and spirits - without leaving any room for guilt. In this magical cave, for a stolen moment, it’s okay to not care about anyone but yourself.

Today, I thought it would be fun to take a field trip to my current cave. It’s perfect for hiding out from large predators, wrestling, er, writing second novels while the kiddos are in school, and exhaling. Are you ready to go? Hop on the van and follow the red umbrella! (Oh, and please try to keep the noise down. It's a "library" :D) 












How about you? What's your cave like and what do you like doing in it? 


32 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

My wife says that if I had my way, we'd all live in caves all the time. Well, my family, at least. I'm not really that bad, but she'd live out in a field somewhere, so I guess anything I'd pick would feel like a cave to her.
Actually, I'm sure that if I really did live in a cave, I would paint all over the walls. I've been trying to do that since I was a kid.

http://strangepegs.blogspot.com/

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Enjoyed the behind-the-scenes tour, Sam. Be productive! I am currently in a red-walled, book-lined study on the first floor of an English house looking out at trees and countryside beyond. It was very good for writing books until I started a blog!!

MuMuGB said...

You cannot be stopped! We haven't seen your first novel and you are already on the second one! How do you do this?
You can only get access to my cave through a small door, and I have a very small desk. But I am home, and just like you I have to have coffee!

kellyhashway said...

Oh boy, I write from my couch! Most of the time at least. You'll also see me with a notebook in just about every room because who knows when inspiration will strike.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Andrew - Haha! You belong to the same "art club" as my daughter. Her doodles keep popping up all over the house - and thanks to the wisdom of Randy Pausch in "The Last Lecture," we don't erase them :D

Deborah - Wow! Your writing cave sound lovely! (And yes, scientists have proven that along with Facebook and Twitter, Blogs form the the Bermuda Triangle of writing time. LOL :D )

MuMuGB - Coffee is absolutely ESSENTIAL for writing. Caffeine fuels the soul ;-) I love that you can only access your cave through a small door. It makes it feel more private. At home, I have a smell desk too. It's tucked beside my bed. I prefer small desks. Huge desks make me feel slightly lost. :) (p.s. Don't be too impressed by my second novel. It's as sticky as a tar pit right now and I am firmly stuck. LOL)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Kelly - Couches ROCK. I edited Before Ever After on my Lazy Boy. LOL. I carry around a notebook too. Inspiration is too precious not to write down the moment it strikes you :D

Joy Page Manuel said...

My cave really looks like a cave....small and dark, everything enclosed. It's an armoire/office made of dark brown wood. I have my laptop in front of me but choose to use a separate keyboard just 'cos it's more ergonomically correct for me. This piece of furniture is currently parked in our formal living room and I'm actually looking forward to a bigger work space once we move to the new house. We'll see...Maybe I'd finally be able to write my very first book once I get a nicer space...(sure, excuses, excuses, haha!)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

You must post photos of your new cave on your blog when you move - it will be awesome to document where your book is "born." :D (I regret not taking a picture of the little corner table in Starbucks Katipunan where I wrote Before Ever After. LOL) :D

Cathy Kozak said...

I finally have a room of my own and have worn a path from the old red couch to my desk in its perpetual state of wordy chaos, to the books misaligned on the shelves behind it, bindings akimbo, shifting to and fro for the very best view of the mountains; to the window seat and the little flowered ottoman and yes, when the weather's fine - which isn't today - down the creaking stairs and over the snorting pug on the landing and through the Mexican room with its marigold walls and its sand table and the crumpled Rivera print, and out onto the back porch and the old wheezy swing, a handful of words at my fingertips...

Scrollwork said...

I prefer a small desk, too. Give me a bigger surface and I tend to create piles atop it. Then it's too distracting to try to write when those piles are silently accusing me. This is why I moved away from the dining table—the piles are set in concrete now, for as long as they've been there.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Cathy - Your words have transported me. Your cave sounds so romantic and divine. No wonder your writing is always so inspired! *writes note to self - MUST.GET.MOUNTAIN VIEW.* :D

Connie said...

My son used to make caves all over the house, but especially in closets. I've joined him before and I have to admit that with a couple of pillows, the closet makes a decent cave--assuming you don't have too many shoes or clothes.

Meredith said...

What a beautiful writing space! It's so open and clean!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Scrollwork - LOL! Ah, yes - I am well acquainted with dining table piles. They breed like rabbits at my house. The best approach is to attack them with a shovel ;-)

Connie - Closet caves are awesome - with a flashlight, a pillow, and a smuggled cookie - you're set for the day's adventures. :D

Meredith - Haha! It's clean only because I don't live there. My desk at home is another matter ;-)

isabelle gregson said...

Full of poetry and imagination as always. What a lovely thing to read on a grey London morning! xxx

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Isabelle! Sending sunny thoughts your way. :D

~Wendie said...

Hi Samantha! I can't wait to read your book - it sounds incredible! It's a good thing that it's coming out in the summer - I have a tendency to NOT put a book down once I start and I have 2 little people that tend to get ignored while I do so! Atleast they'll be busy running amuk in the yard while I sit in the shade!
~Wendie

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

LOL, Wendie! I have two little people of my own so I know EXACTLY what you mean. I hope that Max, Shelley and the rest of the characters in Before Ever After will be good company while you sit in the shade :D

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

What a gorgeous library! And what an inspirational place to write. My cave is the kitchen table in the winter (our house is very small with no room for a desk, never mind an office)... but in the summer I take my laptop out to our screened house or the bunkie (our guest house above the garage). It's quiet and the air is fresh and the kids don't bug me up there because they're convinced it's full of zombies. (I wonder who told them that? ;)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Zombies!!! LOL! Perfect! Will DEFINITELY be trying that one out. The kids just started their summer break and I need to put up a zombie zone soon :D

KLZ said...

Your brain slurp line? So good. Good enough I hope that chapter 13 of novel 2 is about monsters

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Haha! Close. It's about GHOSTS. :D

WhisperingWriter said...

Your cave looks really peaceful.

Good luck with the next novel!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Whispering Writer! :D

WynnieBee said...

It seems moms never really have a place of their own because the whole house is governed by her. However, when there is less need for order, when the kids have spread their wings and there is more urgency in reflection than dusting, then mom claims her space. I have claimed my daughters old bedroom. I close the door and leave the world behind. The walls are covered with what I hold dear, a greeting card that my daughter gave me for my Bday years ago, a drawing my son did while in jail ((DUI), other drawings, books scattered on the floor. My garbage in the wastebasket that if I want will sit there all week. This is my space and here I find peace.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Wynnie Bee - "However, when there is less need for order, when the kids have spread their wings and there is more urgency in reflection than dusting, then mom claims her space." Beautifully said! (And it sounds like you couldn't ask for a better cave. You deserve it. :D )

ocmominmanila.com said...

I know where your cave is! *does a little i guessed it right dance*

My cave at home is always being invaded by a little cave girl so most times, I end up at Starbucks.

But I am planning on relocating my cave to Boracay (see Sam's previous post on Boracay).

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Haha! Take me with you! :D

Kate Evangelista said...

I;m currently in the throws of writing Reaper--a novel writing itself. Although, I know how it ends, I don't know how I'll get there...yet.

As for my cave, my room and it's balcony. When I'm feeling a little more than trapped (especially by a pesky chapter that refuses to budge) I look out and up at the sky and breathe.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Wow! So jealous about your momentum with Reaper. Are you contagious? Can you sneeze on me, please? ;-)

C.M. Villani said...

Hey Sam,
Sorry it took me so long to comment. I had an 8 year old's birthday party to organize. one word of caution - don't let your 8 year old near a microphone (let alone a dozen) or your ears may bleed. hahaha

Anyway - for the most part my "cave" is my living room after I put the kids to bed. Oversized couches, lots of pillows, and plenty of quiet (not to mention the kitchen right around the corner). But on the off chance I have two seconds to actually escape - I head off to the cafe up the street. Its so nice and cozy. Leather armchairs - good coffee - sweet deserts (which we all know are essentials for writing anything worth a damn. :D) - and it even has a gas fireplace to sit next too. Perfect writing cave. :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hey, Christina! No worries! (An 8 y.o. X 12 + microphone = scary. LOL.)
Your caves sound great! Couches you can sink in and pillows are a MUST. And leather armchairs? Wow. Just wow! :D